The first state Championship event for 2020 gets underway this weekend with the MG Car Club of Victoria to host the Motorsport Australia Victorian Hill Climb Championship’s season opener.
Taking place at the iconic Rob Roy Hill in North East Victoria, more than 89 hill climb hopefuls are expected to compete in the opening round, all with the aim of starting the seven-round hill climb season on a high.
With 2019 champion Garry Martin likely to take a year off from the sport, the door will open up for a new driver to be crowned champion at season’s end and it all begins at the Rob Roy.
Three drivers headline the impressive field of drivers as 2019 South Australian champion David Mahon leads the charge alongside Alan Foley and last year’s round winner and eventual championship runner-up Mike Barker.
While Barker was unable to capitalise on his round victory last year, the Hayward 06 pilot still enjoyed a brilliant season and is looking forward to getting back out on track and racing again.
“I am really excited to get back out there. The car is ready to go as far as I am aware, so it’s been just the waiting game for a while,” Barker said.
“I changed the wing when because it had cracks and dints in them. I did a deal with Garry Martin who made some new wings for me.
“I expect my car will do okay. It’s not the fastest car as it is heavy and underpowered but it’s reliable, strong and capable of putting in quick times. The driver is also okay I suppose.”
Barker (centre) after winning the 2019 season opener.
As for his two rivals, both Mahon and Foley enter the frame with a wealth of experience and solid form - the former taking out the two most recent Victorian rounds on top of his South Australian triumph.
“David’s car is fast and he’s a good driver, while Alan is a dark horse due to his turbo charged car weighing only 250 kilos. I think these two will be battling out for victory this weekend,” Barker added.
“At Rob Roy, the start line is slippery. If it’s a damp day, which is highly possible, then grip is going to be a problem and Alan has traction control, which gives him the advantage.
"I suspect David will win the Championship itself and Alan will certainly be up there. For me, I will do the best I can.
“The car is reliable and that’s what got me the Rob Roy win last year. Simply because when the quicker cars have trouble, I am right there putting on the pressure. Maybe it will happen again this year.”
The Motorsport Australia Victorian Hill Climb Championship takes place at the Rob Roy Hillclimb on 19 January.